Bommala Koluvu means an assemblage of dolls in an orderly fashion. Bommala Koluvu is popular in entire Andhra Pradesh State but it is organized at different times by different communities. While some families hold it at the time of Sankranti or Dasara it is at the time of Deepavali in our family. Deepavali Bommala Koluvu is held not just in our family but among all our relatives and for that matter in most families of Telangana.
One day before Deepavali, on Naraka Chaturdashi after Harathulu and lunch my wife gets busy to arrange Bommala Koluvu. Before my marriage it was my mother who used to arrange the dolls. Using wooden planks and tables in the house, odd numbers of platforms are made in the form of steps to hold the toys as can be seen in the above photographs. White cloth is spread over all the steps and then dolls are arranged neatly on them according to size, category and theme. Some items like Chekka Bommalu and Donthulu filled with Puffed rice, Chliakalu and Batthisalu are a traditional must. Every year new Donthulu and at least a pair of new dolls made out of clay are bought for the Koluvu. Turmeric idol of Goddess Gouramma is placed on betel leaves and kept at the Koluvu along with some custard apples and worshipped every evening for five days. After five days the dolls are restored back to their storage area.
Family members, relatives and neighbors are invited to come and see the Bommala Koluvu. This invitation called Perantam pilupu is exclusively for girls and ladies. After the guests arrive and are seated in front of the Koluvu, Vermilion mark is applied on the forehead of the guests, Sandal paste to their chins and Turmeric paste to their feet. The guests are given Thambulam that is Betel leaves with Betel-nuts, fruits and flowers. After this snacks are served. On each of the five days of Bommala Koluvu different families are invited and the evenings are spent happily in the company of friends, relatives and neighbors, strengthening the relationships.